For this week’s Best of the Web, we have collected a number of inspirational pilot stories:
The Reluctant Pilot. Sylvia, the blogger behind the Fear of Landing blog, has a great series of essays about how she became a pilot. She began her inspiration “Reluctant Pilot” post by noting a small problem she initially had during her first flying lessons: Her feet could not reach the pedals. She has also written another post that detailed why she began studying for a private pilot’s license in the first place – more or less due to a grudge (but then she became hooked).
Pushing Past the Fear: One Pilot’s First Solo. In addition, Sylvia has also written a great essay detailing what was going through her mind both before, during and after her first solo.
I Taught Myself to Fly. Meanwhile, Ben Sclair, the publisher of General Aviation News, recently wrote a lengthy post where he notes: “If a 13-year-old, much-supported son of a pilot and a 19-year-old unsupported criminal can teach themselves to fly, perhaps we should rethink the whole learn-to-fly process. I was that 13-year-old (27 years ago) and Colton Harris-Moore — known as the Barefoot Bandit — is the recently captured 19-year-old criminal.”
In Defense of General Aviation. On a different note, the recession and financial crisis has directed some scorn towards private flying but Sara Black has a well written defense of the general aviation sector and how much it contributes to the economy. She also noted how general aviation breeds innovation and that private aircraft are productivity tools.
Young Eagles Program. Meanwhile, Steve, the blogger behind the A mile of runway will take you anywhere blog, has written a lengthy post about the Young Eagles program that was set up by the Experimental Aircraft Association in 1992 to provide free airplane rides for kids between the ages of 8-17. I am not sure if there is a similar program available for children in the UK but it sure seems like a great way to get children involved in and interested in flying.
Twelve Year Old Enthusiastically Takes Up Aviation. On a similar note, the Redwood Times recently had an inspiring story about how a song played on a piano got traded for a ride in an airplane changed for a 12-year-old girl in the coastal area of Northern California. The girl later soloed on her 16th birthday.
Living the Pilot Dream. In addition, the Charlotte Observer has another inspirational story about a 20 year old girl who first got interested in flying when she was 11 and now not only has a private license to pilot single-engine planes but a certification to fly up to 18,000 feet. The girl plans to become a commercial airline captain.
Armless Pilot Inspires Alaska’s Younger Generations. And finally and perhaps the most inspiration pilot story you can think of, the Alaska Dispatch’s Bush Pilot blog has a story about armless pilot Jessica Cox. In order to fly, she first had to find a Light Sport qualified Ercoupe to train and fly in and then she had to learn how to fly the aircraft using her feet – which she was already using to perform all of her daily tasks.